'Respect agenda' call over Welsh government funding

Bank notes
Image caption David Cameron wants the Welsh government to raise some of its own budget through taxes

Wales' finance minister says the Welsh government has been taken for granted by the UK government.

Jane Hutt told BBC Sunday Politics Wales that a funding deal offered by the coalition does not provide enough certainty for public spending in Wales.

She echoed comments of the first minister who said a promise of fair funding was short on detail.

David Cameron has pledged to protect the Welsh budget which ministers in Cardiff have long been demanding.

But the amount of money on offer will not be known until the next UK government spending review, due after the general election.

Instead of solely relying on an annual grant from the Treasury, the prime minister wants the Welsh government to raise some of its own budget through taxes.


He says the promise of a "funding floor" - designed to stop the Welsh budget being squeezed by the Barnett formula - means there is now no reason to delay a referendum on giving the Welsh government some powers to vary income tax.

But Mrs Hutt said the coalition could have gone further by offering more detail on the terms of the funding floor, "but they didn't. They took us for granted and they can't do that."

She added: "This is not about being told at the last minute 'We'll give you this, you do that'.

"That is not about an agreement. That is not about a respect agenda."

She said that if the Welsh government got "that reassurance, that clarity we can sign up to it, then of course you could consider beginning to make a start in terms of considering tax devolution".

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